In 1976 he graduated from the Moscow State Institute with a degree in "international law". His classmate was Sergei Yastrzhembsky. He worked as a researcher at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the senior consultant of the Central Committee of Youth of Uzbekistan, Director General of Foreign Economic Association of the Soviet Peace Committee. In 1966-1981 Usmanov was a member of the Young Communist League, and later joined the Communist Party.
In 1980, Usmanov with his friend Nasymovym, security officer of the special department of the KGB, the son of the deputy chairman of the KGB of the Uzbek SSR, were sentenced to 8 years in prison for three articles of the Criminal Code (in including rape). Usmanov was released on parole in 1986, "because of the sincere remorse" and "for good behavior". In July 2000, the Supreme Court of Uzbekistan fully rehabilitated Usmanov, calling the criminal case against him was fabricated.
I graduated from the Finance Academy under the Government of the Russian Federation on a specialty "Banking" in 1997. In 2012, it founded a diversified international company USM Holdings, which has combined the holding "Metalloinvest", "MegaFon" network operators and "Skartel", the leader of the Internet market in the Russian segment of Mail.Ru Group, Disney Russia TV channels "Muz-TV" and " YU". Shares of the holding company as follows: Usmanov (60%), the structure of Vladimir Skoch (30%) and Farhad Moshiri (10%).
In March 2012 edition of Bloomberg called Usmanov, Russia's richest man, estimating his fortune at US $ 20 billion. In October 2012, he moved into second place, losing to Viktor Vekselberg. In 2013-2015 he headed the list of Russia's richest people. In 2012, according to Forbes magazine, he took 67th place among the most influential people in the world. In 2016, Forbes magazine estimated the state Usmanov at $ 12.5 billion (№ 3 in Russian).
In April 2010, the British newspaper The Sunday Times Usmanov included in the top ten richest people of Great Britain. It is located on the sixth position in the ranking with a fortune of 4.7 billion pounds (growth compared with 213 per cent last year). In April 2013, it is named the richest man in the UK according to the rating of The Sunday Times Rich List. In 2013, he entered in the annual rating of "50 most influential people" according to the magazine Bloomberg Markets Magazine.